Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tour Operator's Rage Against Bureaucracy

The front page story in The Dominion struck a chord with us.

Tour operator, Wally Hammond refuses to get a "free" permit from DOC for tourists to watch fur seals from his bus in the Wairarapa.

Wally Hammond is a Kiwi-Battler from the old school of self accountability and hard knocks. He has managed to operate bus tours in the Wellington region for 53 years without the need of a Marine Mammal Viewing Permit that dictates safety conditions for animals and tourists according to DOC.

DOC have recently hit headlines in a positive way when they unlocked part of its vast estate to a private business when it allowed a drinks stand to operate at Cathedral Cove. For us this was a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, DOC appear to be still entrenched in back office bureaucracy by insisting that Mr Hammond pander to an illogical and time-wasting paper shuffling process.

If Mr Hammond's tour business involved handing out clubs and encouraging tour passengers to get into a bit of old-fashioned seal-clubbing, then maybe there could be some cause for concern. However by driving a bus on a public road where there happens to be seals basking nearby hardly necessitates attention from our government sponsored park rangers.

In the area Mr Hammond's tour operates from there is open public access where visitors can freely view the seals at close range. Unfortunately, Mr Hammond runs a business and is seen as fair game by institutionalised government busybodies.

We say good onya Mr Hammond for giving these leaches the one-figured salute.

Source: Click HERE

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